Sunday, November 20, 2011

Checking In

What have you been up to lately?  As the Holiday's approach it's time to wrap up some projects and check some items off my to do list. 

Since I last posted I've:
*Cleaned the burners on my stove
*Addressed and mailed my Christmas cards
*Saw Breaking Dawn in the theater wOOt wOOt
*Set up my bill binder for next year
*Scheduled an oil change for this week
*Determined that at this time there is nothing I can sell on craigslist
*Maintained my clean house
*Shopped sales at the grocery store so I won't have to buy anything but perishables for a long time

To do yet:
*Deep clean the carpets especially in the living room
*Back-up the digital photo's to my external hard drive
*Put the cover on the sandbox
*Find pics to put in some of the cute picture frames I got at Kohl's
*File my taxes (BAD Chibiko!!)
*Apply for a job should the right type of job come along...not in any hurry here 'cause it's a pain in the butt to find daycare that will transport DD3 to preschool, but it's definitely on the back burner

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's Dead

My beloved vacuum died.  It went out in a blaze of glory with sparks, smoke and everything.  I said a few choice words as I dumped the thing into the dumpster.

Now, here comes the fun part...which new vacuum do I get to replace it...  I like bagless uprights.  My dream vacuum is a Dyson, but that ain't gonna happen.  So, what vacuum do you use?  I vacuum about every other day.  Do you use it that frequently? In the mean time I'm borrowing a vacuum from my Mom until I can get a new one.  Since time isn't an issue I have time to save up a bit for a new one.  Any advice on the vacuum front or really any other front is welcome.

On a side note I don't think I've ever typed the word vacuum so many times at one sit down before. :)

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Still Going Strong

Today I:

*Eliminated 31 shirts from my side of the closet
*Handed out my kiddo's school pics
*Got caught up on laundry

I also ran a bunch of errands that took up most of my morning.  DD3 is sick so I took her to the Doctors this afternoon.  Turns out she has the croup and her 2nd ever ear infection.  Poor little chickadee. 

Let's see how I'm fairing on the to do list.

To do yet:
*Deep clean the carpets especially in the living room
*Back-up the digital photo's to my external hard drive
*Find more stuff to list on craigslist
*Put the cover on the sandbox
*Christmas cards (It's never to early to address those suckers)
*Get my oil changed (I have like 500 miles till it's due)
*Get my next years bill binder set up and ready for action
*Find pics to put in some of the cute picture frames I got at Kohl's
*File my taxes (BAD Chibiko!!)
*See Breaking Dawn in the the high life there :)
*Apply for a job should the right type of job come along...not in any hurry here 'cause it's a pain in the butt to find daycare that will transport DD3 to preschool, but it's definitely on the back burner
*Stop making insanely long to do lists and take time to enjoy life

Not bad, but there's still a lot of work to do.  How are your projects coming along?  I'd love to hear about them.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Follow Me and I'll Follow You Back

We all work hard on our blogs and we all love readers.  It's hard to get a blog going and get a steady base of readers.  So, I thought that we could follow each other.  :)  Follow me and I'll follow you back.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.

I can't wait to see what you've been working on!

Keeping up the Momentum

Today I'm keeping up the momentum from yesterday.  I'm going to list here all the things I've done today and keep updating the list until it's time for bed.  Here we go!  Today I:

*Scrubbed the trashcan in the kitchen
*Went through DS5's clothes and eliminated the ones that don't fit right, I just don't like or are out of season.
*Organized theDS5's backstock clothes according to size so we'll be ready when he grows
*Organized the DVDs according to adult/kid and then put series together.  We had double of some DVDs.  Who knew?
*Clean out the inboxes on both of my email accounts

The day is still young.  We'll have to see what else I can add to the list.

*Sold the stroller listed on craigslist.  Cash in my pocket.  Cha-ching!
*Went through the books in the kid's library and eliminated the books they no longer read
*Washed all the filters on the vacuum
*Sorted through the toys and eliminated the toys that are no longer played with.  I also put some toys up for later this winter

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Getting Ready for Winter

I have been a busy bee today getting ready for winter.  The weather's supposed to turn tomorrow so I wanted to get as much done today as I could.  Sooo today I:

*Washed the windows inside and out
*Vacuumed the entire house including under the moveable furniture i.e. the couch
*Got a flu shot for me and the flu mist for my kiddo's
*Took out all the trash I could possibly find
*Swept the patio and took in all the outside toys
*Cleaned out the van (still need to vacuum that thing in a bad way...)
*Gassed up the vehicles
*Filed all the paperwork for October that still needed filing
*Ran the books and plates up to the neighbor where they belong
*Went grocery shopping stocking up on staples and water.  Don't want to haul that crap in the snow.
*Refilled my medication
*Put the pillow cases on the new pillows and chucked the old pillows
*Put away all the crap that seemed to migrate it's way into my big closet
*Walk to school to pick up DS5 and play at the playground
*Put away the fishing gear
*Listed a stroller on craigslist
*Sorted and filed all the photo's I've been meaning to sort and file
*Got everything written down in next years calendar that I am aware of
*Wiped down the bathroom
*Dusted the living room
*Emptied and reloaded the dishwasher
*Hand washed all the knives that are hand wash only and wiped out the kitchen sink
*Put away in clear shoe boxes all sandels
*Put away all the light jackets and brought out the winter coats
*Threw away the show organizer that the kids broke
*Sorted the laundry for tomorrow

That's it so far, but the night is still young.  :)  We'll have to see what else I can find to do before the bad weather hits.  Nothing like being prepared in a well stocked, clean and organized house.

To do yet:
*Deep clean the carpets especially in the living room
*Sort through the hand-me-downs DS got from my cousin and put away the clothes that will fit this winter
*Sort through the toys and eliminate the toys that are not being played with...either donate or put away for later when the snow really hits and the "I'm bored" comes out.  Wala new toys.
*Back-up the digital photo's to my external hard drive
*Clean out my emails in boxes
*Find more stuff to list on craigslist
*Put the cover on the sandbox
*Christmas cards (It's never to early to address those suckers)
*Give out the kid's school pics
*Re-evaluate the kid's's just not working...they can't seem to put the books away themselves
*Get my oil changed (I have like 500 miles till it's due)
*Get my next years bill binder set up and ready for action
*Find pics to put in some of the cute picture frames I got at Kohl's
*File my taxes (BAD Chibiko!!)
*I will keep up on laundry (the bane of my existence)
*See Breaking Dawn in the the high life there :)
*Apply for a job should the right type of job come along...not in any hurry here 'cause it's a pain in the butt to find daycare that will transport DD3 to preschool, but it's definitely on the back burner
*Stop making insanely long to do lists and take time to enjoy life

Monday, October 31, 2011

Tis the Season for Needing Help

I volunteered for WIC for a long time.  I got to know the ins and outs of the system.  I thought that I would post some helpful links here for those of you living in Iowa.  Please feel free to ask me questions if you have any.  I am well versed with all of these agencies.  If you need something that's not  posted here please ask me.  I probably know that system too, but forgot to add it to the list. These are in no particular order. 
*Childcare Assistance*
General Web site


*Food Assistance* Also Title 19 Medical Coverage
General Web site

*Hawk-i* NOT Title 19. State of IA program that is awesome.
General Web site

Convoy of Hope

Convoy of Hope is Coming to Des Moines!  

Saturday, November 12th from 10am - 2 pm
It is being held at the Hy-Vee Hall in Downtown Des Moines (if you need directions feel free to ask me)

There will be free family entertainment, free family portraits, free haircuts, a heath fair and even a kid zone.  They will also be giving away 5,000 bags of groceries.

How cool is this?!?!  Spread the good word if you feel so inclined.  :)

I am in no way affiliated with this event or this program.  I just thought that it was a great idea and I wanted to share.

I Am A Bad Mommy

I forgot to take pictures of them in their Halloween costumes.  *headpalm*  Last night was trick or treat.  We do it on the 30th here.  They made quite the haul I've gotta say.  The weather wasn't too shabby either.

So imagine an Army guy in an authentic army outfit bought at Camp Dodge (a National Guard base).  And now imagine a black and yellow bumble bee complete with one stinger.  Cute, eh?

A couple of observations:
1) The big kids don't let the littles go first.  DD3 was being ran over all night long.
2) Whatever happened to Thank You?  I know mine said it each and every time, but that was not the norm.
3) It appears that the understanding of the word ONE is lost.  I saw many kids grabbing handfuls of candy after they were told to just take one.  So many houses ran out of candy early.  It's not fair to everyone else.

Now, I'm not saying that my kids are perfect, but geesh.  Compared to some of these little candy hogs they look like freaking angles.

How was your Halloween?  Did you take any littles our trick or treating?  Did you pass out candy?  Did you dress up?

Edited to add:  I didn't take them to the pumpkin patch (they both went there on field trips for school).  We didn't carve pumpkins ('cause honestly I forgot till it was too late).  We didn't decorate our house.  I know, bad Mommy!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Holding Patterm

My house seems to be in a holding pattern.  It's not getting any more organized, but it's not becoming disorganized.  I need to snap out of this rut and start getting back onto the organizational band wagon. 

Anyone else feel like this?  What did you do to snap out of it?

Which Blogs Really Suck You In?

Recently I've been sucked into The Scary Mommy site.  It's like an interactive blog with a message board and a confessional.  This site provides me hours of reading.  Check it out!

What are you reading?  I'm always looking for new blogs to read/follow.  :)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

3rd Day of Kindy and DS5 Already Gets a Note Sent Home

Oy this is going to be a long year.  He already got a note sent home that he was not on task and he did not use his indoor voice. Oh wise bloggers out there...any tips on how to curtail this behavior now?

DD3 starts preschool on Monday.  Here's to hoping for a good year for her.  :)

Three days a week it'll just be me and my bonus baby in the mornings.  Two days a week after school I get two bonus boys.  Looks like a full house on those days!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Last Week Before School Starts.

This week is the last week before school starts for DS5.  He starts Kindy on Monday!  DD3 starts preschool the following week.  Cha-cha-cha-changes!

This week we have been go-go-going giving an great end of summer bang!

Monday - I was sick so we stayed home chillaxin.

Tuesday - I was feeling better, but not 100%.  In the morning I took my kiddo's to the dentist for their regular checkups.  The both got a clean bill of oral health.  DS5 is already getting his 6 yr molars.  Oh gosh!  We spent the afternoon as a family at the Zoo.

Wednesday - We had a playdate with our 3 &1 yr old friends.  They got to come to our house!  We played inside, outside and went swimming.  Oh what fun!  Check out her family blog.

Thursday - We spend the day playing outside.  I couldn't ask for better weather this week.  :)  We had meet the teacher night.  I took DS5 to meet his Kindy teacher and see his new school building and classroom.  DH took DD3 to meet her preschool teacher (same teacher that DS5 has had for the past 2 years) and let her have a chance to finally run around the classroom.  She was in heaven as she's been able to see the toys, but not play with them.

Friday - We went to Living History Farms and spent the day there. We had the chance to pet horses, piglets, and see chickens.  The kiddo's had a blast running around the different farms and visiting the various buildings in "town."  We got to drink Sarsaparilla straight from the brown bottle and buy some lemon drops at the General Store. 

What has your week looked like?  Do you have any fun ideas to do on the weekends with kiddos?

Friday, August 5, 2011

How Has Your Summer Been?

We've had a busy summer here.  We've been to the zoo, the Science Center, Living History Farms, downtown Des Moines Sculpture Gardens, libraries in the area, swimming, the parks around town, and too many playdates to count.  Whew!

I also started walking 4 miles a night.  I need to get my cute butt back into shape.  Any encouragement on that front is welcome.  :) 

No Spending for 10 Days Part 2

I had such success with no spending on anything non-essential for 10 days in June I though I'd try it again.  :)  So, here we go again.  No spending on anything non-essential for 10 days.  Like last time I'll post here each day with how much I spend on what.  I found that it really keeps me accountable.  'Cause really, no one wants to fail in public.

Day 1 - $0
Day 2 - $47 A pre-planned event.  My budget was $50 so I came in squeaking under. 
Day 3 - $0
Day 4 - $0
Day 5 - $0
Day 6 - $0
Day 7 - $43.64 gas for van
Day 8 - $5 spent on Sarsaparilla and Lemon Drops at Living History Farms
Day 9 - $18 spent at the Farmers Market.  :)
Day 10 - $0

Overall a very successful endeavor. 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

What About the In-Betweens?

We always see the before and after pictures, but what about the in-between pictures when life is actually being lived?  Welp, here's my in-betweens.  This is what my place looks like RIGHT NOW without any staging or extra cleaning or organizing.  Here's a naked look at my place on a random Sunday night at 10:00.

Looking into the kitchen from the living room. 

Kitchen table cleared off as usual.  I find that it really helps family dinner time if the table is already cleared and clean.

Kitchen counter (yep, I'm that short on counter space)

Cleared refrigerator front, stove and microwave.  All wiped down and ready for action.

Living room.  Not perfect, but it'll do for tonight.

Nice and clear hallway.  No tripping in the middle of the night for me.

My bed is made and ready for sleepy time.

So, there ya go.  This is what my place looks like on a random night.  Sorry for the crappy pics, but since it's 10:00 at night I have zero natural light to help with my usual level of crappy quality of pics.  What does your place look like on a random night?  Anyone brave enough to blog about it?  :)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Master Bedroom Closet Make Over

I am so excited to post about my bedroom closet today.  It's one of my favorite rooms in my place.  I like to sit in there and read, do projects, blog on my laptop, etc.  My bedroom closet is big.  For the size of our place it is really big.  We actually turned it into a nursery when DD2 was born.  Yep, it's that big.  After we moved her into the same room as DS5 the closet became, well, a mess.  We took the baby stuff out (for the most part) and started the bad habit of dumping and running when it came to that closet. 

Here's the view from the door way into the closet.  I'll go from the right to left so you can get the full effect.  :)

My girl over at Family of Monkeys has a handy hubby.  I've actually known her hubby for 15 years or so.  He not only found this awesome shelving unit for FREE he also installed it for me for FREE.  SCORE!
(Remember I don't stage any of my pics :D ) On the top shelf we have presents to be given out later during the year.  I like to buy ahead with a specific person in mind. The next shelf down we have most of my shoes.  These are the pairs that I don't wear on a weekly basis.  Those are on the shoe mats by the front door.  I love that I put my back-stock of shoes in clear plastic boxes.   It makes they very easy to organize by color and type.  It also makes it very easy to grab and go when I need to locate a pair in a hurry.  The next shelf is my photo stuffs.  Here I have my scrap booking material and most of my photos.  On the bottom shelf I have the kid's DVD players (the black things on the left), more photos, and 3 clear plastic totes filled with items such as tape, scissors, my thank you note writing station, etc. All the way on the right is the leaf for my kitchen table.  Sometimes I have to stick things in undesirable spaces because of my lack of space.  That is one of them.  And finally we have my laundry sorter.  I LOVE, love, love my laundry sorter.  Honestly, I don't know how I lived so long without one.

  A closer look of the shelves.

And my beloved laundry sorter. To the left of my laundry sorter are the kids toys that I have rotated out for a while.  I find that they play with their toys more if all their toys aren't out all the time and I rotate them for freshness.

My clothes are in this pic.  I hang all my shirts.  It looks like I have a lot of clothes, but I don't swap out seasonal items.  I leave them hang all year long.  I also have worked in the business world so I have a lot of business suites hanging on the right.  On the top shelf are my handbags, my teddy bear, Joanie, which I've had since I was born and my hubby's pants sorted into 2 piles.  Jeans and non-jeans.  The 3 drawer carts below used to by DD2's dressers.  Now they house clothes are to be grown into.

Hubby's shirts.  Admittedly he has less clothes than me, but really, he's a guy.  He doesn't need as much clothes as I do.  :)  On the top shelf you can see his folded jeans pile, my collection of Longaberger baskets are in the blue tote and all the was to the left are boxes full of glass stuffs that my Grandma insists on giving me, but I don't have any occasion to use them or anywhere to display them.

Carts on the right hold clothes to be grown into.  The black cart holds misc electronic stuffs and batteries.  The white cart on the left holds extra kitchen towels that my Grandma has embroidered for me (same Grandma as the glass Grandma.)

Storage.  Bottom 2 are Christmas ornaments.  Top 2 totes are important papers.

My pants and Nursing school textbooks  on the next shelf

The pictures on the wall are new.  Part of my New Years resolution was to put more things up on our walls.  I love the saying from Uppercase living, don't you?  See the pic all the way on the bottom left of the baby in the cowboy hat and boots?  That's me!  :)

 And what kind of mom would I be if I didn't include a pic of what DS5 made me for Mother's Day.

What do you think of my closet?  Yes?  No? Maybe so?  Can you think of any ways I can better organize the space?  I'm always open to suggestions!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Please Leave a Comment :)

Hi and thanks for stopping by.  I hope you enjoy your time here.  Please feel free to leave a comment.  I loves me some comments.  I'd love to read your blog (if you have one) so please leave me the link so I can stop by.  I can't wait to hear from ya.  :D

Friday, June 3, 2011

No Spending for 10 Days

Starts when we get back in town on Monday.  It's time to trim the fat off of our budget.  I figured there's no better way to accomplish that then not spend anything for 10 days and then we can see what we really need.  I'm not stocking up in any means for this event.  Actually we will be just getting back into town so it'll be really interesting to see how I can use up what we have in our cupboards for food and around the house for activities.  Now, realistically I know we can't go 10 days without spending anything at all 'cause we'll need gas to get to work, etc.  So, in the spirit of spending as little as we can I'm going to post here what I spend *if* I spend something that day.  This should be interesting....

Day 1 - $0

Day 2 - 50 cents parking downtown
             $46.37 gas for van (with fuel discount)

Day 3 - $0 On a side note our DVD player broke today.  This is a big deal since we don't have TV, but in thespirit of not spending we are waiting till the end of our 10 days to buy a new one.  Hopefully my kiddo's won't miss their 1 movie per day too much (and that I can keep my sanity without that reprieve that the DVD brings.)

Day 4 - $4 parking downtown

Day 5 - $9.11 The rest of birthday present for DSD14

Day 6 - $0

Day 7 - $47.61 gas for van (with fuel discount)
             $9.06 Wendy's (we had guests over for lunch and I didn't plan ahead to make enough for the extra ppl)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sorry for not posting lately...

Our PC bit the big one.  Took it to Mr. Fix-it.  It would cost more to fix the computer we had than to just buy a new one.  New one has been ordered.  It won't be here until the 2nd week in June.  :( 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Garage Sale 2 of 2 Was Last Weekend

Sorry for posting after the fact, but DS5 (wow feels weird to type that he's 5) had the stomach flu.  So, in addition to the garage sale I had to deal with a sick kiddo and lots of laundry.  This sale I made $113.25.  Again, not bad since EVERYTHING I sold was marked for a quarter.

Over the 2 sales adding up the total of what everyone involved made together we sold over $900 worth of stuff in 2 weekends.  Not too shabby.  And you wanna know the best part of having back to back garage sales?  Everything's already marked!  SCORE!

Whatever was left over we donated to Goodwill.  It amounted to about 30 diaper boxes donated.  All but 2 boxes were clothes.  Hopefully we can really help someone in our community.  :)

Monday, May 9, 2011

A Little Fun: Posting Comments

Since we all LOVE comments I've decided to leave a comment on every.single blog I read today.  I'll try to come back and leave a total comments left number in the comments section of this post.

Just a PSA.  :)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Garage Sale 1 of 2 This Weekend!

Yes you read that right.  I am having not 1, but 2 garage sales with the first being this weekend at my Brother's house.  Why have 2 sales you ask?  Well, I'll tell ya.  It's 'cause I'm selling THAT much stuff.  Boxes, and boxes, and boxes of stuff.  Really, I can't believe how all of it fit into my tiny apt.  Some of it is the kids out grown clothes, toys, etc.  Other stuff is like the waffle maker we got as a wedding present, but have only used twice - yes 2 times in 9 years.  See ya!  I'll post pics and let you all know how much I made during my garage sale extravaganza's. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

ABC's of Me

I figure it's time that you got to know me, oh wise writer of this blog.  I never know what people are interested in so I figured I'd answer one of those ABC fb type survey things.  Hope you find this at least a little bit of an insight to me, 'cause yep, I'm a real person.  :)


- Available: To txt? Always.

- Age: 3*ahem*0

- Animals: I don't have any pets, but I don't mind dogs.


- Beer: No thank you.

- Birthday: December 10.

- Body Part on opposite sex: Do I have to pick just one? :)

- Best feeling in the world: Getting a hug from my kids.

- Best weather: A crisp fall day.

- Been in Love: Yeppers.

- Been on stage: Yep, although it's been awhile.

- Believe in Magic: Oh, oh it's magic you knoooow.

- Believe in Santa: Of course ;-)


- Candy: m&ms.

- Color: Blue.

- Chocolate/Vanilla: Chocolate.

- Chinese/Indian/Italian Food: Totally depends on my mood.

- Cake or pie: Ewww. Neither.

- Continent to visit: I wanna go back to Japan!!

- Cheese: No thank you.


- Day or Night: Night.

- Dancing in the rain: At least once a year. I love the way the rain feels soft.


- Eyes: Blue.

- Ever fail a class? Calculus. Three times. I gave up.


- First thoughts waking up: Alright Jack come snuggle in for a moment.

- Food: Gotta have it.


- Greatest Fear: That something will happen to one of my kiddo's.

- Goals: Yep, I have 'em.

- Get along with your parents? For the most part.


- Hair Color: Red, at least that's what it's called. It looks more orange to me, but no one goes around saying that they have orange hair.

- Happy: Most of the time.

- Holiday: My Birthday! I love to count down and everything.


- Ice Cream: Chocolate and brownie chunks.


-Jewelry: I wear my standard necklass and my wedding band.

-Job: I have many. Pick one.


- Kids: Jack & Celina.

- Kickboxing or karate: Kickboxing.

- Keep a journal: Nope.

- Love: Yep.

- Letter: Do people usually have a favorite letter?

- Laughed so hard you cried: Often.


- Milk flavor: No thank you.

- Movies: I LOVE movies. Too many to name.

- Motion sickness: Nope.

- McD’s or BK: What's closest?


- Number: Yes, I like numbers.


- One wish: For world peace. *doing hand gesture*


- Perfect Pizza: No cheese and mushrooms.

- Pepsi/Coke: Diet Coke

- Piercings: My ears.


- Question you’d like to know the answer to: Too many to type.


- Reason to cry: Laughing.

- Reality T.V.: I don't have TV.

- Radio Station: I much prefer CDs or my iPod. Commercials irritate me.

- Song: Too many to list.

- Shoe size: 9.

- Salad Dressing: Ranch.

- Sushi: Ewww!

- Skinny dipped? Yeppers.

- Strawberries/Blueberries: Both! I LOVE fruit.


- Tattoos?: 1. Want another though.

- Time for bed: 1 am. Not that you asked, but I wake up at 6:30 am. Yep, that's how I roll.

- Thunderstorms: Pretty.


- Unpredictable: That's me :-)


- Vacation spot(s): I have a list, but I really, really wanna go to Japan again.


- Weakness: None!!! Of course! Lol.

- Who makes you laugh the most: All my friends are funny in their own way.

- Worst Weather? Ice.


- X-Rays: Left hand (broke a metacarpal), Left foot (broke a metatarsal), Left foot again (broke a phalange) & Right knee (resulted in knee surgery). The right knee was a marching band injury. Figure that one out.


-Year it is now: 2011

-Yellow: Sunny!


- Zoo animal: Penguin


1. Slept in a bed beside you? Celina.

2. You went to the mall with? Anita.

3. You went out to dinner with? I had lunch with Anita last time we went to the mall.  Does that count?

4. You talked to on the phone? My Mama.  All together now awwwww.

5. Made you laugh? Addam.

6. Hugged you? Celina.

7. Said they loved you? Jack.

8. Held your hand? Jack.

9. You spoke with? Joey.

10. You cried? Idk. I'm not much of a crier.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mail Station

Right when you walk in my front door there's a half wall.  On that half wall sits my mail station.  It looks like this:

Here's a closer look as to what's in my mail station.

Stamps, a pen, the envelopes on the right contain bills that need to be paid.  In the Longaberger basket are where our keys live in addition to a letter opener, chap stick  and extra locking clips for car seats (can never have enough of those).  After the bills get paid they get filed right away into the binder.  Read about mine here.

That's it!  That's what keeps my mail organized every day and ensures that nothing gets piled up.  Junk mail goes into the trash right away.  The rest gets filed in my binder or is put in my to pay bill section.

How do you keep your mail organized?  Any tips, hints or suggestions as to how to keep the amount of paper to a minimum?

Sick Puppies Concert!

I was blessed to be able to go to a rock concert last night.  I got to see 2 of my favorite bands in 1 concert!  I had a blast. I can't believe I was lucky enough to get to meet the Sick Puppies AND have them ALL sign each of their albums for me.  This is the 2nd time I had the chance to hear Sick Puppies in concert.  Check out my scores!

Sick Puppies signing
Sick Puppies: Dressed Up As Life

Sick Puppies: Tri-Polar

I also got to hear Adelita's Way again.  I already had a signed album from them so I didn't buy another one.  I did get to meet the band again.  I'll post a pic of that album later as the baby's sleeping in the room where I keep my CDs.

I found a new band that I now am in love with, Madam Adam.  I got a signed CD from them too.  And the best part...well you can see for yourself the front of the album

See that?!?!?  It says to Anna!  That's me!!

Madam Adam: Self Titled
Check it out!  All of their signatures!  The concert was rocking and it's not an experience that I will ever forget.

Those of you who know me know how seriously I take my music.  Most people like music...I live through music..  And yes, I have washed my hands since shaking all of theirs.  :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Diaper Changing Station

I'm big on having stations all around my house.  We have an art station, food stations, clothes stations, bath stations, etc.  Today I thought I'd share my diaper changing station today.  It looks like this:
It's a Longaberger pie basket.  In this basket I have all I need to change any diaper that needs changing in my place.  My 2 year old still wears pull-ups most days, so I have pull-ups under the wipes container.  I also have night-time pull-ups for my 4 year old who still has accidents at night.  Someday he'll be night trained.  :)  I also watch an infant 3 days a week.  His diapers are on the left.  The last thing I have inside the basket is some diaper cream 'cause you never know when you'll need it.  Next to the basket I have an econo-size Germ-X pump bottle.  It gets used all.the.time around here.  That's it.  It's everything I need to change any and all butts around here. 

Under the sink in my bathroom is where I keep all the backstock diapers.

From left to right.  Size 5 pull-ups that were left over from a friend and given to me with little swimmers on top.  Extra Diego night-time diapers.  Extra boy pull-ups size 5 from when my 4 year old was potty training.  Dora pull-ups for my 2 year old.  And lastly diapers for the infant I watch.  And that's it.  Those are all the diapers in my house.  I *know* that you are impressed by my diaper organizational skills.  :)

Friday Musing: Do People Really Live There?

Often time while I'm pursing a blog I think to myself, "self do people really live in these rooms that are shown oh so elegantly? If people really do live here how in the world do they keep it so perfect?"  As you can tell from my blog I have 2 young kiddo's and we actually live in our spaces.  Maybe someday our house will be picture perfect, but until then you get the non-staged nakedly honest view of our spaces in each and every picture.  Don't get me wrong.  I love the perfectly set look that most people seem to be able to achieve.

Being a SAHM means that we are here all.the.time.  I don't get any downtime from my kiddo's because they're always here.  We play, dance, do crafts, read, and just goof off all day.  I'm also a part-time Homeschooling mom to my 4 year old.  What is a part-time Homeschooler look like?  Well, everyday my son does his homeschool work.  We do experiments and go on field trips to supplement what he's learning.  We talk about his work and do real life examples of how to incorporate what's he's learning into our everyday lives.  BUT he also goes to preschool.  Why? might you ask.  He goes to preschool for socialization.  I know that I can't be his everything and he needs friends outside of our family.  His preschool teacher is on board with us homeschooling and has given him roles in the classroom so that he remains challenged.  I feel that at this time it is the best of both worlds for my son.

Why the homeschooling tangent?  It's just another example of why my house isn't perfect.  Friends and family are always welcomed into our home at any time without any heads up.  Our house is always presentable enough that I'm not rushing off to stuff things in closets or hide things under the beds.  Our kitchen table is always cleaned off and there are never dirty dishes sitting out.  That doesn't mean that there won't be a toy in use on the floor here or there, but again, we live here.  Every day.

So, if you're in the neighborhood please stop by.  Just realize that our home won't be magazine picture perfect.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

I'm New At This Whole Blogging Thing...

...and I'm asking your help.  Why oh why can't I get the cute little buttons that people having on their link party sites to post on mine?  It comes out like this: <a border="0" href="" target="_blank"><img src="" /></a>

Grrrrrr.....I wish I could figure this out.  So, sorry that I haven't put any cute buttons up on my site yet, but I'm still learning.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Game: What is it??

As I've mentioned before Hubby's a chef.  With him being a chef comes all these kitchen gadgets that I have no idea what they do or are used for.  Here's a little beauty I found today.

There are 6 little holes on the end.  They are sharp circles, but the tip of the instrument is not sharp.  The black handle is solid and it does not come off.

I know some of you out there are more kitchen savvy than I am.  Any guesses as to what this thing does?  The winner gets the knowledge that they knew something that I didn't.  :)

My Pantry...or Lack there Of...

Those of you that live in small spaces, like I do, will understand where I'm coming from.  My kitchen is small.  I'm talking postage stamp size galley kitchen where only 1 person at a time can be in there.  With a small kitchen comes lack of cabinet space and almost no counter space.  Today I thought I'd share my solution to not having a pantry.  Actually, I created my own of sorts.  Here's what I have in the kitchen for my canned goods.

Small, no?  The cans are lined up by kind and each row can hold 8 cans.  On the bottom shelf all the way to the right are different kinds of beans (which we mostly end up using for craft projects).  On the middle shelf I have mac and cheese (for the rare occasion we have a babysitter), popcorn, peanut butter and in the plastic containers are fruit snacks and nutrigrain bars. On the top shelf I have oatmeal, tuna, different types of noodles and a few odds and ends of food stuffs.

One day whilst garagesaleing last summer I thought to my self, "self, there has to be a better way.  There has to be some way that I can neatly organize the rest of our food stuffs.  A way that I can stock up on certain items when they become on sale at the grocery store."  That's when I ran into this beauty for a whopping $3 one sunny Thursday.  It's clearly a shelf from Target.  So, now in addition to the above cupboard I have this.

It quietly sits in the corner of my kitchen holding all the back stock (a word from my working in retail days) products.  On the bottom shelf I have my toaster, which we rarely use, rarely as in maybe 6 times a year total and that's for pop-tarts only, play-dough stuffs and cereal.  On the middle shelf we have my back stock of Diet Coke (cause lemme tell you it's a bad day for the entire family when I'm out of Diet Coke), more peanut butter, more cereal and apple sauce.  On the top shelf I have back stock of the things that have been on sale, but aren't going to go bad in a hurry like Rice-a-Roni, Pasta Roni, fruit cups, more noodles and yep, you see it, more cereal.  All the way to the left on the top shelf are Jack's homeschooling workbooks.

So, there you have it.  My solution to having no pantry and very little cupboard space.  Now, would anyone like some Cheerio's?  Apparently I have 3 boxes...

This post has been linked up to:
A Bowl Full of Lemons
Organize and Decorate Everything

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Digital Clean Up

I've been busy cleaning lately, cleaning up my digital world that is.  That blurry pic of my kiddo's doing "something"? Gone.  The amazing 24 piece puzzle pic that my 2 year old was so proud of doing all by herself for the first time?  Gone.  And the list goes on and on.  All in all I deleted 124 pics off my Cell Phone SD card and  259 pics off my digital camera SD card.

And here's the big one....drum roll please....693 email deleted from just ONE of my two email accounts.  Need proof?

Whew!  I definitely need to go through my email more often!

This post has been linked up to:
Organize and Decorate Everything

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I Now Have A Visitor Counter!

If you've scrolled all the way down to the bottom of my page you may notice a change.  I now have a visitor counter!  Yay!!  I'm joining the big leagues now baby.  :)

I got my free counter from this web site.  There are many counters to choose from so if you're looking for a counter for your blog I suggest heading over to Free Counters and check out their selection.

I can't wait to see how many visits I get and how fast (or slow) they add up.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

C.O.R.N Night

Wednesday nights are C.O.R.N night at my house.  What is C.O.R.N. you ask, well lemme tell you.  It's Clean Out the Refrigerator Night.  Every Wednesday night we have leftovers for supper.  Whatevers left over after we eat the leftovers gets tossed.  That way I make sure we actually eat our leftovers and I know exactly how long the leftovers have aged.

Since C.O.R.N night is Wednesday I usually make batches of food that I am intentionally wanting leftovers from on Thursday nights.  That way we can grab and go all week or just have it the following Wednesday.

What do you do with your leftovers?  Do you even save leftovers?  Do you have a C.O.R.N. night at your house?

No pics, because do you really want to see the inside of my refrigerator? :)

Monday, April 4, 2011

Linen Closet

I finally got around to doing something about my linen closet.  It's not perfect, but it's much better.  To refresh your memory it used to look like this:

First I took EVERYTHING out of the closet.  Darn it was a ton of stuff.  Don't believe me?  Check out the amount of towels alone.

They are really deep shelves and things were getting lost towards the back.  Here's the space I have to work with:

Finally I evaluated and elimated a lot of towels.  We had (and still have) way more towels then we can use in a week, but here's the final look.

I separated out the wash clothes, hand towels, bath towels and pool towels.  Much easier to reach and grab exactly which towel I'm looking for, no?  Oh, and I tried the rolled towel look for all my just didn't work, so I rolled a few.  What do you think?  What does your linen closet look like?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wet Trash vs Dry Trash

At my house we have 'wet' trash and 'dry' trash.  Wet trashcans are in the kitchen and the bathroom.  In these trashcans anything that's considered wet goes into them including food, diapers, etc.  The rest of the trashcans are for dry trash.  Paper, tissues, etc.  I'm wondering if it's my OCD-like tendencies kicking in or do other people have wet and dry trashcans too.  So, do you have wet and dry trash or is all your trashcans designated as just trash?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Binder Bandwagon

I've jumped onto the family binder bandwagon.  Well, I've jumped and I came up short 'cause I didn't put everything in mine that others have put in theirs. Take the auto log.  Yep it sounds like a great idea, but I know that *I* am not going to fill it out like I should and then it'd be a started project that didn't get finished and that irritates me.

In my binder I have 6 two pocket folders.  If I have to 3 hole punch each and everything I want to file...well, that ain't gonna happen.  Each pocket is dedicated to a bill or the random monthly thing like investment paperwork that I get.  I've organized mine so that I file them in order that they come each month.

So, onto the grand reveal!

I cut to fit some pretty scrapbook paper that I got on sale at Target to jazz it up a bit.
I got the 6 two pocket folders at Target.  They are the plastic Trapper Keeper brand.
What do you think?  Do you have a Family Binder?  Does it work for you?  Do you have a better system?  I'd love to learn what works for your family.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A bowl full of lemons.: Silhouette GIVEAWAY!!!!

One of my favorite blogs is A bowl full of lemons.  She happens to be giving away Silhouette products right now!!!!!  Check it out!!
A bowl full of lemons.: Silhouette GIVEAWAY!!!!: "My new Silhouette SD machine finally arrived and I'm dedicating this week to my Silhouette creations. I'm also giving away a Silhouett..."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Books, Books Everywhere

I decided to tackle my kiddo's bookshelf today.  My youngest is a mature 2 and no longer needs board books. Time to evaluate and eliminate.  Here's their book shelf before.  It was stuffed to the gills with books to the point where they could no longer grab the book they wanted without searching and putting the book away properly....forget about it.

Before.  Books, books everywhere and no room to spare.
After.  Ahhh much better.
In the smaller basket are their books filled with snapshots of themselves and their friends.  They like being able to go and look at the pictures.  They especially love the shots of themselves as a baby.  The large basket on the top of the bookshelf hold ALL their lovies.  I'm not a big fan of lovies so I try to keep the number down.  I wouldn't mind getting rid of a few more, but I can't convince my kiddo's of that just yet.

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Simple Thank You Goes a Long Way

When's the last time you received a thank you for something you've done for another person?  Let's take this a step further and I ask you when's the last time you actually received a thank you note in the mail?  If you're like me it's been a really long time.

As I was perusing the aisles of Target the other day I ran across these beautiful thank you notes.  They were calling my name just begging to come home with me and be sent off.  The first 5 or so went out the door with no problems.  After that though I got to thinking how small of a gesture should I be sending thank you notes out for?  I mean, yes you opened the door for me, does that get a written thank you?  So, what do you all think?  Which gestures, big or small, deserve a written thank you note?

Aren't they lovely?!?
Sorry for the blur.  The paper's shinny and I couldn't get a decent shot, but I wanted you to get the general idea.  :)
And the best part?  They were on sale!!  The blue notes were $3.24 for 50 cards and the leaf notes were $.98 for 10!!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

We've lived here 4 years and...

...I had yet to put anything on the big expanse of bare wall above my couch.  We rent so I can't paint.  That means all my walls are a very serviceable white. Ugh. 
See, I wasn't fibbing about the white color.
Up until recently I just couldn't decide what I wanted on the wall there. As I was perusing the aisles of Target I ran across these babies super cheap on sale.  Like $3.64 each on sale.  SCORE.   This is what it looks like now above my couch and I do know that they are hung really high, but my kiddo's constantly climb and flip and dive off the couch and I didn't want wall hanging to be a danger.
What do we think about the arrangement?  Hubby wanted the sloopy look, but I'm not quite sold on it.  The mats are weaved grass and add texture.  They are intended to be used as bulletin boards, but I don't know what, if anything, I want to put on them yet.  AND I'd have to find nice, sleek pushpins to hold the materials on the boards. 

So, my fellow internet readers, what do you think?  Any ideas, suggestions, tips, comments, random musings???

And for the record I'd LOVE to get a slip cover for the couch.  I'm not digging the oatmeal color, but a free couch from my parents is a free couch from my parents.  My kiddo's play with the couch cushions daily building forts, or pretending they're safe zones from hot lava etc, making a slip cover not feasible.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Kids Artwork

If you kiddos are like mine they are budding artists.  Mine like to display their current artwork.  Before today the display location was our refrigerator (at least the pieces of art that I could pawn off on having them make for Grandma ).

Before.   The display area.
Now often times I think, "there should really be a product that does exactly what I want." and I look around and there is no such product available.  I wait months to years and then BOOM the product I want is finally on the shelves.  That's the case with the art frames that I picked up at Target.  I'm telling ya, I wanted buy this beauty years ago, but couldn't find it anywhere.

Check it out!  Awesome frames for my kiddo's artwork.  And the best part....
They are DESIGNED to be opened repetedly!  It's very easy to switch out the new art work.
It even comes with a folder to hold pieces in the queue or pieces that have already been displayed.
Did I mention how much I LOVE this thing??  And now the only things on my fridge are my things.  As a rule before the top freezer door was mine and the bottom fridge door was for the kids.  Now the bottom fridge door is nice and cleaned off.  Oh and the freezer door?
It currently looks like this.
The pad of paper is my ongoing grocery list.  The penguin magnet was a gift from my brothers.  The picture is of me and my BFF Chris at the Dance Marathon.  Her daughter has PKU and we go every year to support her.  The black strip on the white paper says, "U R who U think U R."  That's one of the motto's I try to live by.  And the yellow card has a Frank Lloyd Wright quote that struck me.  "If you ignore beauty, you will soon find yourself without it... But if you invest in beauty, it will remain with you all the days of your life."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Do You Scrub Your Kitchen Sink?

I figured out a long time ago that if there are items in my kitchen sink my kitchen just doesn't look 'clean'.  The floors could be freshly scrubbed and the counters wiped down, but as long as there was something in the sink all my other work didn't matter.  As part of my nightly routine (and I loves me my routines) I scrub or at least wipe down my kitchen sink, faucet included.

I was surprised to learn that not everyone does this.  So, here's my question: Do you scrub your kitchen sink everyday and why or why not?

Friday, March 11, 2011

What to do About This Space??

I hate the way my linen closet is organized.  It's not very efficient and it doesn't look good.  I like the rolled towel look that many people are sporting these days, but I don't have the funds to buy the cute containers needed to achieve this look.  Plus this is a functional closet.  We are in and out of this sucker every day.  And get this.  I have never once bought towels.  They were all given to us as gifts.  Time to thin the herd?

Any tips, hints, suggestions?  I am open to try pretty much anything. 

This is what I got going on now...not so good...